The 2023 GWA Wingfoil World Cup in Fuerteventura, Spain, delivered an electrifying display of wingfoiling prowess that had spectators on the edge of their seats. Among the standout performers, France’s Titouan Galea emerged as the FreeFly-Slalom champion in a thrilling contest that went down to the wire on the final day.
The veteran racer showcased his exceptional skills and experience, sealing the win in the very last race of the competition. It was a neck-and-neck battle with his closest rival, Italy’s Francesco Cappuzzo, with victory eventually going to Galea by the finest of margins. This victory marked Galea’s back-to-back FreeFly-Slalom crowns in the Canaries, coming hot on the heels of his win at Pozo Izquierdo, Gran Canaria.
Crossing the finish line just a few meters ahead of Cappuzzo, Galea couldn’t contain his joy and relief as he launched a celebratory Back Flip. Cappuzzo, despite narrowly missing out on the top spot, showed true sportsmanship by immediately sinking into the water to congratulate his rival.
Recalling the intense competition, Galea shared, “It was pretty insanely tight with Cappuzzo again. I had to win this race to win the event. Yes, I’m pretty stoked. I had pressure until the end.” The passion and determination displayed by the athletes added to the excitement and anticipation throughout the event.
The FreeFly-Slalom battles were the climax of three days of intense action, with 40 men battling through nine elimination rounds in the turquoise waters of Sotavento, fueled by winds gusting between 30 knots.
In the Women’s division, the FreeFly-Slalom had already been decided on day four, with Spain’s Nia Suardiaz demonstrating her incredible dominance. The 16-year-old phenom secured an impressive 13 out of 15 elimination round victories, leaving her rivals in her wake.
Suardiaz’s remarkable performance mirrored her success a week earlier in Gran Canaria, where she also claimed the FreeFly-Slalom title with an unmatched display of skill and finesse. Throughout both events, she rarely faltered, dropping only three races late in the day.
Adding to the historic moments of the Fuerteventura World Cup, the US’s Chris MacDonald took center stage, landing the Surf-Freestyle titles on consecutive Sundays with remarkable riding that left his competitors flailing.
MacDonald’s high-scoring Combos and Frontside 10 in the Sotavento final pushed the reigning world champion, France’s Malo Guénolé, 18, to try to close the gap. Guénolé almost landed a Back Flip-to-Back Flip Combo, but his slight slip led him to third place in the end.
The FreeFly-Slalom track presented fierce competition over three intense days, featuring three different courses for “goofy” and “regular” riders alike.
Heading into the final day, Galea held a slight lead in the overall standings, but the margin to key rivals, including the French pair of Alan Fedit and Bastien Escofet, as well as the Italian legend Cappuzzo, was slim enough to keep everyone on their toes. With a discard to come after the seventh elimination round, the rankings were still up for grabs.
In an impressive display of strategy and skill, Galea utilized his racing experience to the fullest, securing the lead from the middle of the reaching start line in the final race. Galea’s outstanding performance and tactical brilliance allowed him to take the line, the win, and the crown. Cappuzzo earned a well-deserved second podium place, followed by Escofet and Fedit in third and fourth, respectively.
The 2023 GWA Wingfoil World Cup in Fuerteventura was a thrilling showcase of talent and passion, setting the stage for even more exciting wingfoiling events to come. With the second stop of the GWA Wingfoil Wave World Tour in Rio de Janeiro on the horizon, the wingfoiling community is eagerly awaiting another epic showdown on the water. Stay tuned for all the action and adrenaline as these incredible athletes continue to push the boundaries of the sport!
GWA Wingfoil World Cup Fuerteventura Results:
1 Titouan Galea (FRA)
2 Francesco Cappuzzo (ITA)
3 Bastien Escofet (FRA)
4 Alan Fedit (FRA)
1 Nia Suardiaz (ESP)
2 Flora Artzner (FRA)
3 Orane Ceris (FRA)
4 Kylie Beloeuvre (FRA)
1 Christopher MacDonald (USA)
2 Jerome Cloetens (ESP)
3 Malo Guénolé (FRA)
4 Axel Gerard (FRA)
1 Nia Suardiaz (ESP)
2 Bowien van der Linden (NED)
3 Orane Ceris (FRA)
4 Viola Lippitsch (AUT)